Sam Philip29 March 2012

Jost deserts: Capito off to VW

Ford’s hot hatch chief leaves to head up VW’s motorsport division

If you like hot VWs - and who doesn't? - today is a good day. If you like hot Fords - and who doesn't? - today is a bad day.
 
Volkswagen has announced that Jost Capito - head of Ford's motorsport programme and the man behind a decade of unsurpassed Blue Oval hot hatches - is off to head up its motorsport arm.
 
It's the latest move in a stellar career of going fast. Capito won the truck category of the 1985 Paris-Dakar rally before working as a development engineer on BMW's high-performance engines. After four years he moved to Porsche, eventually heading up the German firm's motorsport division, and then nipped over to Sauber, where he ended up in charge of the team's F1 operations.
 
In 2001, Capito joined Ford, where he rapidly forced through the MkI Focus RS, still regarded as one of the best-driving (yet reputedly least profitable) hot hatches in history. He oversaw the hot versions of the second-gen Focus, too - including the 345bhp RS500, one of the most powerful front-wheel drive road cars in history. Not a bad CV, eh?
 
Capito's role as director of Volkswagen Motorsport looks to be more focused on, erm, motorsport than hot road cars, however. After dominating the Dakar rally between 2009-2011, VW has pulled the plug on the South American endurance race to focus instead on its assault on the WRC with the Polo R, which begins in 2013. Knowing VW's hatred of coming second, he won't have long to deliver results.

But with a man of Capito's pedigree on board, wouldn't VW be daft not to allow him a bit of fun with its hot hatches? In tough times like these, surely the world really needs a 400bhp front-wheel-drive Golf RS?

 

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